The Best Used Chevy Corvettes
Buying a Corvette is a dream shared by many of us. Fortunately, there are plenty of model years to choose from, though some will be harder to find at your used car dealers in Lexington KY than others.
But, given that Chevy has been churning out Corvettes since 1953, there is no shortage of Corvettes to choose from. But, just for a little inspiration and insight, we’ve compiled the seven best Corvette models, starting with the most recent – this year’s 2015 Corvette Z06 and featuring a few gems from the past.
Read on for some serious speed and style…
Today’s Corvette: The 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06
Compared to the other Corvettes we will cover, the current model year has the distinction of being the fastest and most performance-driven Corvette ever made. For the base price of approximately $80,000, all this power could be yours. Equipped with a supercharged LT4 6.2-liter V8 engine, the 2015 Corvette Z06 crushes the zero to sixty mph challenge in less than three seconds – 2.95 seconds, to be exact. Operated by an eight-speed automatic transmission, today’s Z06 features ginormoustires, and the GM-exclusive magnetic ride suspension. Up against the rest of the world’s sports car class, the 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 is one of the fastest.
The Blue Devil: 2009’s Corvette ZR-1
Before it was outpaced by today’s Corvette, the 2009 ZR-1 was the fastest Corvette the world had ever seen. Outfitted with the first factory supercharged Corvette engine, the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, generating 638 horsepower, dashed from zero to sixty mp in 3.5 seconds. The quarter-mile blew by in a blink, a mere 11.5 seconds, and the ZR-1 did all this at top speeds of 205 mph. So, if you want to purchase a powerful piece of Corvette history, the 2009 Corvette ZR-1, dubbed the “Blue Devil” by GM, is the Corvette for you.
Inspiration for Today’s Z06: The 2002 Corvette C5 Z06
This Corvette is considered by industry experts to be the one that moved the model into modern times. Refreshed styling, interior revisions, and updated performance tech made this Corvette C5 Z06 extra edgy and eye-catching. Equipped with a 5.7-liter LS6 V8 engine, which was able to produce 385 horsepower during the 2002 model year before jumping to 405 horsepower in 2003, this Corvette could make the zero to sixty mark in 3.9 seconds. Given that this year’s Z06 makes it in just under three seconds, these stats are still impressive when you consider that it’s been thirteen years between models.
A 1980s Icon: The 1990 Corvette C4 ZR-1
During the 1980s, the ZR-1 was the performance car – a muscle-bound American icon. Designed by Lotus, the ZR-1 came outfitted with a 5.7-liter V8 engine, which produced 375 horsepower, which was 125 horses stronger than the base level at that time. So equipped, the ZR-1 zipped past the zero to sixty sprint in 4.9 seconds, with the quarter-mile measured at 13.4 seconds. Granted, the newer models just upped the ante with respect to speed and power, but the angular and unmistakable 1990 Corvette C4 ZR-1 is a car worth collecting.
That Seventies Style: The 1970 Corvette Stingray LT-1
Were it not for the 1970s oil crisis, the C3 Corvette, inspired by the Mako Shark concept, would certainly have enjoyed a longer run. But, before the oil issue influenced automotive manufacturers to reduce their engines in favor of fuel economy, Chevy released the best of the C3 class: the Corvette Stingray LT-1. Operated by a 350-cubic-inch small block V8 engine, the quarter-mile was conquered in 14.36 seconds at speeds of up to 101.69 mph. This Corvette is a vintage beauty that is worth tracking down for a test drive.
A First For Everything: The 1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window Coupe
The first Corvette coupe to ever grace the automotive scene, the 1963 Corvette Stingray coupe featured a rear split-window, but only did so for one year before visibility concerns caused Chevy to remove it. Equipped with a 327 cubic-inch V8 engine, the 1963 Corvette Stingray coupe was backed by 360 horsepower and then some, if you opted for the available fuel injection. This year saw enhanced handling, due to the Stingray’s brand-new independent rear suspension. If you can find one of these, you’ll be in possession of a true collector’s Corvette.
Not the First, But the Best: The 1955 Corvette V8
But first, a bit of history…Chevy first introduced the Corvette in 1953. Built by hand, the original Corvette came as a convertible and featured a “polo white” exterior, complemented by a “sportsman” red interior. Although it looked fast, the actual performance was a bit sluggish, thanks in no small part to the wheezing 235 cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine that “powered” it.
Fortunately, for those of us in the future, Chevy decided to up the ante and installed a V8 engine in its 1955 Corvette, establishing it as an American icon. Covered in the now signature fiberglass body and operated by the three-speed manual transmission, the 1955 Corvette V8 made the zero to sixty mph in 8.5 seconds. This marked a serious improvement over the V6 engine, which took a whopping – by comparison –eleven seconds to spring from zero to sixty mph. Automotive industry experts are confident that it was the addition of the V8 over the V6 engine that kept the Corvette firmly entrenched in the Chevy lineup for over sixty years.
And the future looks bright…
The 2016 Chevy Corvette is already specked out and it looks as competitive as ever. The 2016 Corvette Z06 is the first supercar rated at 650 horsepower that comes available as a coupe or convertible, controlled by either manual or automatic transmission. We are partial to the convertible, particularly now that it is even easier to operate. Completely electronic, the top of the 2016 Corvette Z06 drops at the touch of a button, located on the center console or key fob. Even better, the drop-top can be engaged while traveling at speeds of up to 30 mph.